Thursday, July 28, 2011

'Iraq-02'' redux: US accuses Iran of Al Qaeda "secret deal"

 Remember these forgeries? and WMDs? and Colin Powell's vials?
"The U.S. Treasury Department today announced that it has officially designated as terrorists six members of an al Qaeda network whose head operates in Iran. This action marks the first time the U.S. government has so explicitly accused Iranian authorities of formally collaborating with an al Qaeda cell, which it alleged to serve as a financial pipeline between al Qaeda fundraisers in the Persian Gulf and operatives in Afghanistan and Pakistan....Counter-terrorism analysts said such designations as those announced today are not done in a haphazard way, and take quite a lot of time and debate to be worked through the U.S. inter-agency process.
"The material made public for these designations is very, very carefully reviewed," stressed Matthew Levitt, a former FBI terrorism intelligence analyst now with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (AIPAC), in an interview with the Envoy. They "don't go forward without policy concurrence, legal review, and intelligence concurrence," meaning, "the inter-agency met and debated them and yelled and screamed." That said, Levitt continued, "let's not get hysterical."... As to why the U.S. government would make the focus of today's announcement Iran and not the al Qaeda financiers apparently able to operate from Qatar and Kuwait, Levitt said the U.S. government has long taken up the matter more quietly with those countries."
 ... Leah Farrell, a leading al Qaeda expert based in Australia, tweeted that she was skeptical of the Treasury designation, and suggested it might be motivated by a U.S. desire to put pressure on Iran. "Past reports have been poorly sourced and containing serious inaccuracies," she said. "I know about some of these people. They're not new and the reality is far more complex."
"This seems like a means of overcoming a lack of leverage against Iran releasing people." 

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